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ROFL? MT Teens Prefer to Text with Friends, Not Parents

April 26, 2010

HELENA, Mont. - To get a Montana teen's attention, send a text message. A new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project finds kids ages 12 to 17 say cell phone text messaging is "the way" to communicate with friends, ranking higher than emails, phone calls or meeting face-to-face.

One in three teens who text sends more than 100 messages a day, which is not as outrageous as it sounds, says report co-author Scott Campbell.

"If you think about just sort of a conversation, and this as an extended conversation with multiple people throughout the day, conversations take a lot of turns, there's a lot of little one-word responses."

Campbell admits that parents can feel frustration when they see text-messaging lingo. However, he points to the short format as an important skill in today's world.

"Being able to get your point across in 140 characters or less is becoming a valuable skill for top executives who are trying to get their message out to a larger audience."

In terms of teens communicating with parents, the study finds kids like to talk to their parents via cell phone calls, not through texting.

The full report, titled "Teens and Mobile Phones" is available at

Deb Courson, Public News Service - MT